Sage Dual Boiler: Hands-on the Heston Blumenthal coffee machine

While Heston Blumethal's Sage Tea Maker shows all the hallmarks of the chef's extravagance, the Sage Dual Boiler coffee machine is a slightly different story. Eagle-eyed coffee fans might recognise this as a Breville model, as it's branded as such in different territories.

The emphasis here is on perfection, aiming to make you the best coffee at home, as well as deliver an experience that a "coffee connoisseur" will treasure. But it does so in a way that's more conventional that the slightly whacky teabag system of the Tea Maker.

What you do get is a coffee maker for that coffee shop experience in your home designed to give the same sort of results as a commercial installation.

In fact, this isn't something you just plonk on your kitchen worktop and plug in. No, instead, following purchase, you'll get a white glove service, where a Sage "coffee technician" will come to your house set you up, train you how to use it, show you how to clean it and settle down for a coffee and a chat. 

That will probably prove useful as this £1,200 coffee maker will turn you into a barista. There's a separate, matching, coffee grinder that will set you back £200, but Sage acknowledges that some coffee enthusiasts might already have a grinder.

The finish is premium and the quality is exceptional, making the Sage Dual Boiler a real statement when placed in your kitchen. The central pressure gauge immediately tickled our inner geek, but there's a lot more going on here than just good looks. 

Three-years in development, the Dual Boiler, as the name suggests, has an espresso boiler and a steam boiler, aiming to give you perfect control over both temperature and pressure to get results.

You can set the temperature to suit different roasts from 86C to 95C, with pressure changing through delivery to give you the best overall flavour. The espresso that we fired down was certainly on the money, hot and rich.

You'll also be able to froth your milk, with the steam wand delivering instantaneous steam at 130C, so you can be prepping your milk as the espresso shot is extracting. You can also just take hot water for heating cups or making Americanos. 

A comprehensive coffee maker, looking to give you that barista experience, the Sage Dual Boiler is coming to the UK for the first time, and will be available from John Lewis and other high-end retailers in the next few weeks.



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